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Written Answers. - Fire Service.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 186. Mr. C. Lenihan Information on Conor Lenihan Zoom on Conor Lenihan  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  if he has satisfied himself from a safety and operational viewpoint, with the age of the vehicles in use by the fire services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10387/02]

 187. Mr. C. Lenihan Information on Conor Lenihan Zoom on Conor Lenihan  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  his views on whether the purchase by some local authorities of second-hand fire tenders from the UK is sound from a safety and operational viewpoint; if in general, he favours the introduction and use of such older vehicles by the fire services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10388/02]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey I propose to take Questions Nos. 186 and 187 together.

In the past five years this Government has substantially increased the level of capital investment in the fire service with more than €66 million [863] being provided in capital grants – more than was provided in the preceding ten years. This year's allocation is a record €19.568 million and will ensure further significant progress in the development of the fire service infrastructure.

In addition to the 40 new fire appliances approved for delivery this year, fire authorities are being given approval to invite tenders during 2002 for the purchase of 32 further new fire appliances at a total cost of €8 million. This brings to more than 130 the number of new appliances that I have approved since taking up office – almost half of the current front line appliance fleet nationally. This level of approval will further accelerate fire authorities' plans to replace older first response vehicles with up-to-date new type appliances and thereby significantly reduce the average age of fire brigade fleets.

Over the years, fire authorities have purchased some previously owned appliances to meet the requirements and particular needs of their fire service e.g. for less busy stations or as specialist appliances, etc. My Department has provided grant assistance for many of these proposals and it is a condition of grant approval that fire authorities have to be satisfied that the appliances meet their operational requirements and represent value for money.


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